Medical student and physician suicide is much too prevalent in America with little being done to address the issue. We lose approximately a doctor a day to a preventable cause of death.
As a medical student, I often wonder “why did I even go into medicine?” I have had the feelings of frustration that so many others have let take over their lives. I take a step back and remind myself that I chose to go into medicine to better the lives of others. I take another step back and realize that there are too many people that love me to see me lose my own life.
For so many other medical students and physicians, it has been hard to take that step back. Between the sleep deprivation and lack of time to focus on self-health, it’s no wonder that physicians are much more likely to turn to substance abuse and suicide compared to the general public. My call to action to anyone with thoughts of harming themselves is this: reach out to someone and get help. You are more than enough. It is not cowardly to ask for help.
For anyone struggling with mental illness, coping with the loss of a loved one to suicide, or concerned about a friend’s mental illness, please seek help. You can find support at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at the link below:
If you are in a crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)